" DOKIC SLAMS VENUS WILLIAMS FOR LATE WITHDRAWAL " was how the headline screamed on the Reuters and ESPN website on the 15th of May following a press conference that Jelena gave after her win against Anna Smashnova in the Italian Open.
Reuters and ESPN published the following:
Defending champion Jelena Dokic has slammed world number one Venus Williams for pulling out of the Italian Open on Tuesday at the last moment with a wrist injury.
Williams withdrew minutes before she was due on court against Russian Kournikova having hurt her right wrist while picking up luggage three days ago.
"I would criticize her as it was really bad for that (late withdrawal) to happen at such a good tournament," Yugoslav Dokic said on Wednesday.
"It's so tough to so many players here and for her to pull out of the top half there makes it so much different."
Following William's withdrawal, Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters have been installed as favourites to reach the last four of the tournament from the top half.
But bottom half of the draw has the likes of Jennifer Capriati, Venus's younger sister Serena, Amelie Mauresmo as well as Dokic all battling it out to reach the semis.
"It's not a good situation for the tournament and the draw also but that's the way it happened and that's the way the rules are," Dokic said.
Below is part of the actual transcript of that press conference. We've have highlighted those comments that Jelena made and which were deliberately left out by Reuters and ESPN or modified so as to make their article more sensational and controversial than it actually was.
Q. Venus Williams has been criticized for pulling out of the tournament yesterday so shortly before her match. What are your thoughts about that?
JELENA DOKIC: You know, I would criticize her also. I don't think it was -- you know, I've pulled out a few times and, you know, it was really bad to be happening at such a, you know, such a good tournament. I mean, it's so tough to so many players here. And for her to pull out of the top half there just makes things so much different. But I guess she just wanted to give herself as much time as, you know, she can get to try and get better. It's not a good situation for the tournament and for the draw also. But that's the way it happens, and that's the way the rules are.
Q. What happened in the second set?
JELENA DOKIC: No, you know, she started to play better......................
Now it must be said that Jelena's command of the English language is not the greatest when it comes to giving press conferences. Jelena is never fully at ease holding press conferences and she sometimes struggles to get across in words what she actually means to say.
What Jelena was trying to say is that from the tournament's organisers point of view she can see why Venus would be criticized but from a players point of view she understands the reasons why Venus withdrew so late in the day.
Jelena would never say anything that was detrimental to Venus and she certainly wouldn't 'slam' Venus for picking up an unexpected injury.
Jelena knows better than anyone how frustrating a sudden injury can be and if you can't play you can't play. As Jelena touched upon, she too has pulled out of a tournament at the last minute. In fact she did it at this years Open Gaz de France in Paris and it happened to be the final that she pulled out of, not a second round match. Also it was a final against......Venus Williams.
Jelena has a very good relationship with both Williams sisters. In fact the whole Dokic family are on very friendly terms with all of the Williams including the father Richard. Richard and Damir are often seen together on the tennis circuit chatting and laughing together.
But as we have shown Reuters and ESPN have slanted Jelena's comments to give the impression that there is some sort of needle between Jelena and Venus and that's simply not true.
Also this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. There was the infamous 'We're not models' interview at last years Wimbledon in which the UK tabloids accused Jelena of 'slamming' Lindsay Davenport for her on court appearance. It was only when the full BBC transcript of that interview came out that it was clear that Jelena was referring to players in general (herself included) being more interested in their performance on the tennis court and not their fashion sense in regards to the kit that they wear.
It has to be said that Jelena is by no means the only player that this kind of thing has happened to. Tabloid journalists are always looking for an angle in which they can take an innocuous comment and twist it into something controversial.
However Jelena seems to suffer this kind of treatment more then most. In fact it's becoming a joke, so much so that Jelena might have to consider getting herself 'wired' every time she speaks to a reporter in the same way that undercover cops in the movies secretly record a meeting so as to catch the crook in the act of being dishonest. In the event of a disputed interview as in the case of the infamous 'Herald Sun tape' incident a few years ago, Jelena would be able to produce her own recording and show the world what she really said. Jelena Online could even make a sound file from that recording and publish it on the website.
Another favourite of the tabloids is to describe something in such a way or to attach a word to something so as to make it appear more then what it actually is. An example of this is the UK tabloids description of the 'entourage' that Jelena takes with her when she comes to the UK for Wimbledon.
This use of the word 'entourage' conjures up the image of 6 or 7 Mini vans loaded up with trainers, coaches, hairstylists and celebrity chefs like Gary Rhodes when in fact Jelena's 'entourage' at Wimbledon time has always consisted of only her dad, her mum, her younger brother Savo and err.....that's it.
This year however it looks like fitness coach Mike Nishihara will also be part of this 'entourage' but despite that Jelena is hardly offering any competition to the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears when it comes to having 'entourages'